Console Management Solutions For Distributed Datacenters

What is Console Management?Console management is the set up, configuration, and maintenance of serial devices, including servers, switches, routers, and telecom gear. Most of these devices offer EIA 232 serial port(s) as a primary console port for management. IT administrators can manage serial devices locally or remotely through the device’s console port.Local and Remote Console ManagementLocal console management uses a physical connection to the device in order to perform set up, maintenance and repair tasks. Typically, an administrator would go to a failed device with a crash cart or a laptop and physically plug into the device to diagnose and fix the problem.Remote console management provides access to the console port of a device on the network via a TCP/IP Ethernet connection or by telephone via a modem-to-modem connection. A whole selection of console management tools and technologies has evolved to meet these needs. One of the most common devices used for remote console management is a console serial switch, also referred to as a console server. A serial console switch can provide access to multiple serial ports locally through its console port.Local and remote console management can be achieved via the regular network infrastructure (in-band management) or a dedicated management channel (out of-band) used for device maintenance.In-band Management: In-band management uses the same network that connects the devices being managed. Control and management data share the same network as the user data. Many in-band management tools are provided as integrated functions of the operating system and hardware platform. For example, managed devices can be accessed on the in-band network through common protocols, such as Telnet or SSH. SNMP polling allows an administrator to determine faulty behavior or connection problems.A significant limitation of in-band management is its vulnerability to problems such as an operating system crash or the loss of a network connection. The failure of a single device on the network could potentially prevent management connectivity throughout the network itself.Out-of-Band Management: Out-of-band management is the use of a dedicated management channel for device maintenance. It uses an interface that does not rely on the proper functioning of the operating system, applications, protocol stacks and the production network. Using out of band management, a network device can be accessed, reconfigured and recovered in the event of a failure of normal in-band management methods, such as an operating system crash or a network connection failure. Out-of-band management addresses the limitation of in-band communication by employing a management channel that is physically isolated from the data channel.The most common out-of-band management solution involves connecting each device’s serial port to a console switch. This allows the monitoring of Boot process and console access which may not be available using typical in-band management. Depending on BIOS support it also allows access to BIOS information through the console port.Console serial port switches can provide form factor and multiple port flexibility for up to 32 ports in a 1U form factor. Products that include flexible options to remotely access managed devices in an out-of-band management network are ideal products for data centers and high performance clusters.Another type of out-of-band management solution involves a computer with a Baseboard Management Controller (BMC) that has its own processor, memory, battery, network connection, and access to the system bus. The BMC can monitor the computer for critical events, send alerts and log events, and perform management functions. Out-of-band management can also be done by connecting the managed devices to a separate Ethernet network. An administrator can access the devices remotely via SSH or a VPN tunnel to the out-of-band management network.Console Serial SwitchA console serial switch is a device that provides single point serial port access for multiple devices with serial console port(s), such as routers, switches, servers. The Console Serial Switch typically has one or more Ethernet ports and multiple serial ports. The console switch provides the capability of using a host on the network to connect simultaneously to the console ports of multiple devices. It also provides complete in-band and out-of-band management for switches, routers, and other devices using a Telnet session or a Web Interface (HTTP). The connected devices can also be accessed securely using a console switch that supports a secure shell (SSH) or through a secure web session (HTTPS).Secure Remote Access: Both Telnet and SSH protocols are supported by most of the hosts used to access the console switch. By launching a Telnet or SSH session directly to the console switch, the user would be presented with the command line interface of the console switch. Many console switches provide web-based management software that can be accessed through a browser using HTTPS. These interfaces allow the administrator to access attached devices or to control the console switch itself.Telnet communication is a plain text communication and is not encrypted leaving sensitive information vulnerable. SSH and HTTPS communications are encrypted and secure. After authentication a pair of public keys is exchanged between client and server. All communication is then encrypted using the received public keys. Only the corresponding private key holder can decrypt the messages. Using these industry standard protocols, an administrator can access the serial console port of an attached data center device as if using an actual crash cart.Secure SSH Console Serial Port Switches offer a broad set of secure access methods that meet the needs of different customers. Look for switches that support Secure Shell (SSH v2), individual port authentication, HTTPS for enhanced security, and dial-in access support, so that only known users at specific locations can access the switch.Remote, Centralized Management: The ability to monitor and control managed multiple remote servers makes the console switch a powerful tool. Through console redirection, administrators can access the BIOS and operating system processes of a managed server through the serial port. Console redirection sends a managed server’s system output to the serial console port and accepts inputs from the console port.In Windows, EMS console redirection starts as soon as Windows begins to load and is available until the Windows graphical interface becomes active. Once the Windows graphical interface is active, the special administrative console takes over. In other operating systems, such as Linux or FreeBSD, console redirection remains active after the OS has loaded. Redirection is accessed through a serial console login.Scalability and the switch’s control methods are important issues to consider when centrally managing larger deployments. Scalability varies with different console switches. Some switches support as few as four devices, while others support a larger number. Maintaining large deployments of servers can be simplified with a console switch. For control, a well-designed graphic interface and the ability to configure complex events (data capture, notificatin, and scripting) enhance an administrator’s ability to manage multiple devices and minimize down time.Administrator’s can securely manage up to 32 devices with a high end Secure SSH Console Serial Port Switch. Features like: easy-to-use web-based interfaces, menu-driven device selection and diagnostic and event management features will be very useful in allowing administrators to quickly locate the source of equipment failures and correct them.Environmental Monitoring: Another way that console switches can maximize uptime is by detecting external environmental threats that can cause managed devices to fail. Excessive heat and rapid temperature changes in a data center, server room, or network closet can damage equipment. Low humidity levels can produce electrostatic discharge, interfering with hardware and causing system damage. Some consoles switches include sensors that detect these environmental threats and sends alerts so the threat can be addressed.Secure SSH Console Serial Port Switches monitor multiple environmental conditions, including: temperature, humidity, and water detection. The switch also supports contact sensors. When a sensor goes out of a defined range, the system will notify you via email, LEDs, web page, or SNMP trap.SummaryLook for console serial switches that provide complete in-band and out-of-band management of local and remote devices, as well as remote environmental monitoring of server rooms. Features such as an easy-to-use graphic interface, powerful diagnostic tools for large deployments, secure access, and high port densities in a small form factor will enable administrators to effectively and securely manage multiple devices. A quality device will give IT managers many different control and interface options for managing: servers, switches, routers, and telecom gear in a cost effective way.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Friendly Advice on How to Start a Farmers Market

If you would of told me that I would be managing a farmers market a year ago I would of thought you were crazy. The opportunity arose quite suddenly to be the manager of our local farmers market. I am no expert on how to run a farmers market, but the following are important concepts to consider when you are thinking of starting a farmers market for your community or taking over one as a manager.Before you even begin to formulate your location, vendors, layout, marketing strategies you need to have a board of directors. This board will be the governing entity of your market. You will need people who are experienced in urban planning, business, the agricultural scene, and active with your community. It is also a good idea to talk to other farmers markets; how did they start their market? What advice do they have? Would they be willing to help you? Once you have your board members selected, you need to come up with a mission for your market. What do you stand for? What do you want your community to gain by your presence?You can’t have a farmers market without vendors. The type of vendor for your market really depends on your location. Here in Asheville, artisan vendors don’t do great. Produce vendors those are the vendors you want. You need to make sure that they are not all selling the same crops. Variety is key. At our market we have five produce vendors. They all have different items for sale. With the new craze of food trucks, it would be a great idea to recruit one or many for your market. My market is a smaller farmers market and I found that it’s best to try to reach out to food trucks that are just starting out. The ones that have been around for a longer period of time may consider your market – if it’s on the small scale or just starting up – a waste of their time because they may not make what they would consider to be a good profit for their time.Marketing is a deal. Based off data the best way to market is using social media; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,etc. These are valuable assets to any business. You can also use Google Business to let people know about your market. Social media posts are free, which is great when you are just starting out. Once you get your market sustainable cash flow, you can look into boosting posts on Facebook and Twitter. Both Facebook and Twitter offer you to set your advertising budget which allows for less stress; once your budget has been spent the advertising stops until you reset it. Another great idea is to partner up with local businesses that are willing to promote your market using their social media. From my experience going and talking to local restaurants, breweries, kitchen supply stores that do food demos are all great prospects.Location! Location! Location! This is very important to farmers markets. Last year my market was behind a church in their parking lot. There was no road visibility. We lacked new customers due to no visibility. During the off season we worked diligently to find a new location that was more visible, had walk ability, as well as good parking. We are now partnering with a local business to use their parking lot which has road visibility, parking as well as walk ability for our neighborhood. This move was a win-win for everyone involved. Our customers are now their customers, and their customers are now our customers.If you want to start your own farmers market here are some resources to consider reviewing before starting the process. There is a course you can take through the Farmers Market Federation of NY, Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Broome County and SUNY Cobleskill and funded by NYS’s Fresh Connect Program. This program costs $200, after taking the certification course you will be a certified Farmers Market Manager. It is an online course. I plan on taking it in the near future. Another great resource is ASAP. They have a section dedicated to how to become a farmers market manager with Powerpoint slides, PDF’s on farmers market rules and regulations. The best part is that this is a free resource.Resources:http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/fmm-pro-suny-farmers-market-managers-certification-programhttp://www.asapconnections.org

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

What’s Going on With the MLM Home Based Business?

Are you looking to own a network marketing home based business? If you are, it can be a very profitable for you to own a home based business. But you will have to do your homework first; to make sure you are getting into a home based business that is worth your time, invest and make sure it isn’t a scam.You must look at the positives and the negatives of an network marketing home based business before just jumping in. That’s extremely important remember that.Being aware you are getting yourself into a legit, honest home based business will save you a lot of money and heartache later on. Just jumping into the first home based business you see can be a killer for you, if the business turns out to be a scam.You don’t want that right!So with a network marketing business it involves you doing direct selling of services or products through recommendation or promotion by a independent representatives.If you are the one who’s endorsing or recommending the product or service you will get a commission from any sale you made.Remember a lot of these products are not sold in stores, commercials or any type of advertising that is mainstream.So when you are trying to see which network marketing home based business is legit, it can get a little difficult because the pyramid schemes are closely similar to the legit, and honest network marketing home based business concepts. A ponzi or pyramid scheme is big time illegal and participating in one and not knowing it can end up being a nightmare for you.So make sure you do that research on the company you are looking to join. Make sure if the company has been around for sometime. You want a company that has a proven track record. Let me mention, this usually the investment you make is proportioned to that product or service you are promoting. Means your home based business is legit.There many positives when you own a network marketing home based business. But I will break down a few of them.1) With your own network marketing home based business, you will be your own boss. You have the ability to work from the comfort of your own home. That’s what drives many people to join a home based business.Also when comes down to the products you don’t have to worry about creating them. The products are already created, there’s no inventory you have to keep. Most of the time The company will have a written out marketing plan.There’s many people who don’t have a clue on how to market products or if they do know how to market products they don’t know the most effective ways to do it. But with an network marketing home based business biz you don’t have to worry about it because its given to you an a step by step plan.There disadvantages when having a network marketing home based biz that is it depends your character or personality. If you are a action taker, have good leadership qualities then having a network marketing home based biz will be less of a problem for you.On the other hand, if recruiting others and selling gives you problems or if you are not a peoples person then maintaining and growing a network marketing home based biz may become a challenge for you. In the network marketing home biz this business consist of recruiting new people and building your downline.If you can get over your fear. Just think what a network marketing home biz will mean to you and your love ones. You can (live your dreams, be your own boss, work when you want to, make more money etc…) With this business you don’t need any experience just hard work and being consistent.Remember you must do your research before just jumping into a network marketing home based biz. You have to make sure the business is legal and worth your time, energy and investment. So when you find that right network marketing home based biz, you must put in the hard work and the consistency. You will enjoy the freedom and the money the network marketing home based biz can give you.All rights reserved. Article may be reprinted as long as the content remains intact and unchanged and links remain active.”For more information about network marketing home based business be sure to follow the link in the resource box below now.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off